11 February 2004

I Have Arrived!

"I'm the one who went to school at night!" she said. She stepped closer to me as she spoke and thrust her head forward to punctuate the end of every sentence.

I don't know why she got so upset. It started out as a conversation about a movie. But it morphed into a political disagreement, and then morphed again into a one-sided argument, compleat with loud vocals and sista' head thrusting. I was surprised by her anger. I was a little intimidated by her aggressiveness. But when she used those three little words, "I have arrived", to deny today's social injustices and her indebtedness to the Black people who waged the struggle before her, I got mad!

See, this is the same sista' who never hesitated to call me to vent about how she couldn't act the same way the white folks act at work, because she knows (and I know) that we're judged by two different standards. This is the same sista' who warned me about the duplicitous ways of white folks and advised me never to tell them my business, lest they use it against me. But, most importantly, this is the same sista' who had the luxury of leaving her child with her parents while she discovered the world, and then went to school to complete her undergraduate degree.

The end of the argument was anticlimactic. It burned out prematurely because I refused to participate. I still regret never asking her, where does she think she has arrived, and who does she think created the path she took to get there.

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